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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-11-21

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>


  • [01] Festering Cyprus must be resolved, says Clinton
  • [02] Cypriot in murder trial: police thought victim was ‘ill’
  • [03] Joint venture demands reason for rejection of road tender
  • [04] Peace in Pyrga after tempers flared over army blunder
  • [05] Millennium Manoli, the oldest citizen of Cyprus
  • [06] Cyta has a number of books for those who want books of numbers

  • [01] Festering Cyprus must be resolved, says Clinton

    U.S. PRESIDENT Bill Clinton said yesterday a resolution of the Cyprus issue would be a good place to start towards reconciliation between Greece and Turkey.

    He also urged the two Nato countries to take their differences over the Aegean Sea to the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

    Clinton was speaking after meeting Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis on a short stopover in Athens which was marked by violent anti-American demonstrations Clinton said he regretted.

    During a joint news conference with Simitis, Clinton said it was unlikely that Turkey could enter the EU before its dispute with Greece over Cyprus is resolved.

    "These two countries need to go hand in hand into the future, and the festering disputes have to be resolved in order for that to happen," he said.

    He repeated Washington's wish for Turkey to strengthen its relations with the EU. The more these relations are strengthened the easier a Cyprus solution will become, he said.

    Clinton said he had told the Turks on his recent visit there this week that solving the Cyprus problem was key to the region's prospects.

    "(The) more Turkey is integrated into Europe... the more the climate improves, the more you can resolve these issues, the brighter the future for both countries will be," he said.

    "I told the Turks... I do not think this bright future is achievable until there is a resolution of the Cyprus issue."

    The US President said he was the most vocal supporter of finding a solution to the problem and that he would continue to be so.

    President Glafcos Clerides revealed in Istanbul on Friday that the US has a detailed road map for a solution which will be given to the two sides by UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan during next month's New York proximity talks.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who was also in Istanbul, said the same day that he was unaware of any such scenario, and he doubted that any third-party plan would be of use. Both men held separate meetings with Annan, Clerides on the sidelines of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) summit.

    On his return to the occupied areas on Friday night, Denktash told reporters Clerides attitude at the summit had been "disappointing" ahead of the New York talks.

    "Clerides attitude was disappointing, even for those who had been expecting good news from New York," he said but did not clarify what comments he was referring to.

    "The situation is not such that we can just sit down in New York and solve the Cyprus problem. If a path can be opened and the ground established for face-to-face talks naturally the discussions will be transferred to Cyprus."

    Clinton said the upcoming proximity talks between the two sides, beginning on December 3 under UN auspices, were the result of efforts by the US. The goal is for grounds to be set for a final solution with talks focusing on the central issues which are the essence of the problem.

    Simitis said he and Clinton both agreed that the upcoming talks on Cyprus should include the main issues and lead to a solution.

    Referring to Greco-Turkish relations, Clinton essentially sided with the Greek argument in calling for the Hague to settle the dispute between Greece and Turkey over sovereignty of various islands in the Aegean Sea.

    Turkey has rejected calls for international arbitration and instead wants direct talks with Greece.

    "It seems to me the only way that either side can have a resolution of this without appearing to cave in (is to) let a neutral party, respected, decide it," Clinton said.

    He said he regretted the damage caused by the violent anti-American demonstrations on his arrival, but that he would not allow it to damage US-Greek relations.

    "I think that we have to, especially in Greece, reaffirm the right of people to protest in a democracy," he said.

    "I strongly believe that protests should be peaceful, and therefore I deeply regret the Greeks who had their property injured and who suffered losses through these demonstrations," he said.

    Clinton said the protests would not be allowed to change "our affection for and support for the people of Greece and the government of Greece".

    Simitis, whose government provided a tight veil of security around Clinton for his visit of less than 24 hours, also said relations would not be altered by the violence. The visit, he said, "constitutes a guarantee for the future".

    "I'm sorry for the fact that certain people did not observe and respect the fundamental principle of law, the fundamental principle that allows our state to operate," he said.

    Protesters rampaged through Athens on Friday night, torching businesses and banks and portraying Clinton as the Butcher of the Balkans for his role in leading the Nato air war against Yugoslavia. Greeks also still resent American support for the rightist military regime that ruled the country from 1967 to 1974.

    Athens was quiet yesterday, but about 1,000 protesters shouted slogans such as "American killers go home" in front of the US consulate in Salonica.


    [02] Cypriot in murder trial: police thought victim was ill

    POLICE officers in the UK initially believed murdered musician Michael Menson had set fire to himself, according to reports in the British press.

    London Greek Cypriot Charalambous Constantinou and Mario Pereira are on trial for killing the Ghanian diplomat's son. They deny the charges. A third suspect, Ozguy Cevat, 22, a Turkish Cypriot, fled to the north and is on trial there for the murder.

    Menson, 30, was set alight on a London street in January 1997. He sustained burns to 30 per cent of his body and died in hospital 16 days later on February 13.

    Police told the court they found Menson dazed and injured in the street in north London and had classified the incident as "illness in the street".

    The crime scene was not preserved until 12 hours after the attack.

    Detective Constable James Dunn told the court: "He was completely naked. He had burns that were still smoking from the top of his buttocks to the base of his neck. He was in a trance, I would say. I spoke to him and he never made any response whatsoever. I just thought he was a man behaving extremely strangely and bizarrely. A man who had suffered those injuries would have been screaming in agony."

    Dunn added that he had asked Menson what had happened but the victim had just "looked at me as if I wasn't there".

    Menson had developed psychiatric problems in recent years which were characterised by trance-like states, the court heard.

    But a second police officer, PC Joanna Walshe, told the court Menson told her almost immediately that he had been attacked although his words appeared confused.

    The officer who suffered a convulsion in her sleep because of what she had seen, remained off duty until February 12, having failed to report her conversation with the injured man until the 13th, the day he died.

    Menson had managed to tell his family from his bedside that he had been attacked. Kwesi Menson, 34, told how his younger brother said he was attacked by white youths aged 18 to 19.

    "I asked how it happened. He replied, Some boys put me on fire."

    "I asked him if the police asked him at the scene how he had got his injury. He replied no."

    He described his brother as very health-conscious, clean-living, very religious, upright, understanding, very fair and just. He was adamant his brother would never have committed suicide, despite his mental health problems.

    It was two years before police were able to track down the alleged culprits after planting a listening device in their flat.

    Police say officers heard them admit taking part in the attack, talk how they could gag witnesses and how they planned to destroy evidence.

    [03] Joint venture demands reason for rejection of road tender

    By Jean Christou

    THE Cypriot-Chinese joint venture for the construction of the Limassol to Paphos highway wants the government to explain why it awarded two other contracts to a higher bidder.

    The joint venture is also accusing the government of causing up to two years delay on the completion of the section of highway from Aspro to Petra tou Romiou which it haa been contracted to do.

    Panayides Contracting and China Wanbao Engineering Corporation say they submitted a cheaper tender for the Xylophagou-Sotira interchange and from there to Ayia Napa than nearest rivals Medcon.

    A letter to the Communications and Works Ministry, seeking an explanation, says the China Wanbao bid was £220,000 cheaper than Medcon's £6.5 million offer.

    "No explanation has been afforded to the joint venture as to why this tender was not accepted," the letter said.

    Under tender procedures once a company's ability to get the job done has been established, the envelope containing the financial bid is then opened. The contract should then go to the lowest bidder. The China Wanbao venture is already on the Public Works Department (PWD) list of pre-qualified companies so it was necessary only for it to submit a financial bid.

    "The joint venture fails to understand was to why the employer (the PWD) has, contrary to the provisions... not awarded the contract to the lowest evaluated tenderer," the letter said.

    On the issue of the Limassol-Paphos highway stretch between Aspro and Petra tou Romiou, the company said it had been given 27 months with a completion date under the contract of June 15, 2000.

    It now says continuing changes demanded by the government engineer have caused a two-year delay for completion of the stretch to July 8, 2002. To date the company says it has not received either a fair and reasonable extension of the time needed nor payment for the delays caused.

    Both companies in the joint venture say their professionalism cannot be questioned. China Wanbao is classed as a Category 1 contractor with ongoing projects in 10 countries worth more than $400 million.

    Panayides Contracting has under its belt the new Arab Bank headquarters in Nicosia, the new GSP stadium, and the recently opened Orphanides hypermarket which it says was probably the fastest track project in Cyprus, being completed in a record 14 months.

    Panayides is also one of the companies involved in building the new Nicosia Hospital.

    "The Joint Venture fails to understand the reasons as to why the Ministry... is applying such treatment," the letter said.

    Officials from the Ministry were unavailable for comment yesterday.

    [04] Peace in Pyrga after tempers flared over army blunder

    By Athena Karsera

    A MEETING between the Defence Minister and Pyrga residents yesterday prevented further demonstrations at the Kalo Chorio firing range. Diko deputy Marios Matsakis had on Thursday threatened to enter the range again yesterday in protest at a National Guard blunder that on Tuesday sent a shower of flares on to nearby Pyrga village.

    Demonstrating against the mistake, Matsakis on Wednesday accompanied several Pyrga residents into the firing range, disrupting army exercises.

    Defence Minister Socratis Hasikos retaliated by ordering that anyone disrupting National Guard exercises in the future be arrested, but Matsakis laughed off the threat.

    At yesterdays meeting in Pyrga, Hasikos assured the residents and the town council that further measures to protect them and their property had been taken. He also agreed to a request that a fire engine be on hand every time an exercise was held at the firing range.

    On the strength of hos comments, the council decided not to intervene in the military exercises taking place yesterday and today.

    If the National Guard made no further errors over the two days, the council said, they would have no objection to the firing range continuing at its present location. But if mistakes did occur, the council said that they would take "dynamic action".

    Hasikos said he now considered the matter closed, and Matsakis, who also attended the meeting, said the Minister had shown understanding for the residents' plight.

    Meanwhile, Phileleftheros yesterday published a letter it said was sent to Hasikos by Attorney-general Alecos Markides, who said Matsakis could be arrested if he insisted on demonstrating at the range.

    "The Attorney-general suggested that if Matsakis went on to the firing range, he should be removed and action should be taken to prevent him repeating the action. If however, he perseveres, then the authorities should make a regular arrest."

    While deputies are immune from imprisonment for crimes warranting a sentence of five years or less, the newspaper said preventing a military exercise is punishable by a six-year sentence.

    Markides' letter said that the law stipulates that anyone who "approaches, inspects, photographs, prepares drawings of, goes into or out of any restricted area, is guilty of a criminal offence and will be imprisoned for six years".

    The paper said the letter continued: "In accordance with Article 83 of the Constitution, a deputy cannot be persecuted, arrested or imprisoned, but this does not apply to an offence warranting a sentence of five years and over, if the implicated party is apprehended while committing the crime."

    [05] Millennium Manoli, the oldest citizen of Cyprus

    ON JANUARY 1, 2000, one Cypriot woman will truly be able to say that she has lived through three centuries.

    Athena Manoli celebrated her 113th birthday earlier this year and will tomorrow be specially honoured as the oldest Cypriot citizen and the island's oldest prolific mother, Simerini newspaper reported yesterday.

    Labour Minister Andreas Moushioutas will tomorrow present Manoli with an award at the Nicosia Conference Hall during a ceremony to honour Cyprus' aged.

    Taking place in the framework of the International Year Of The Aged, the ceremony will also include awards for other aged Cypriots for their services to the country.

    Manoli was born in the Paphos area in the then Greek and Turkish Cypriot mixed village of Ayia Varvara on October 3, 1886.

    Her family moved to Kouklia village, also in Paphos, when she was 10 where she began work as a farm labourer and later as a reaper in Mesaoria.

    She was married at 18 and has had five children (three of whom are now dead), 16 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.

    Her husband died 59 years ago and Manoli began to work at a Vassilia monastery in return for food and shelter for her and her three orphaned grandchildren.

    Following the Turkish invasion, Manoli returned to Kouklia, where she still lives today in a Turkish Cypriot-owned house with one of her children and their family. Now almost totally deaf and confined to her bed, she is taken care of by her daughter Maria and the Welfare and Social Services Department.

    [06] Cyta has a number of books for those who want books of numbers

    By Athena Karsera

    PICKING up the new phone books will not necessarily be the arm-breaking experience it used to be following a Cyta decision to issue subscribers only with the catalogue relevant to the district they live in.

    While a copy of the Yellow Pages will accompany the district catalogue, phone books from the other areas will be available to whoever specifically asks for them.

    Cyta spokeswoman Rita Karatzia yesterday told The Sunday Mail that the action should be seen as a positive one, as "before we were giving people all the catalogues whether they wanted them or not, while now they have a choice".

    She said that while the move had been made in an effort to cut publishing expenses and help save paper, "Cyta's experience and customer feedback indicated that most people didn't use the catalogues from other towns".

    The new phone book for each district not only includes the main town but also surrounding villages. Previously, all the villages were listed in a separate catalogue.

    Cyta says in a leaflet included in October's phone bills that the new phone books will be available from the first week in December.

    Nicosia residents can pick them up from Electra House, Naxos Street Customer Service Centre, the Dassoupolis Cyta Building, the Palouriotissa Cyta Building, Lakatamia Cyta Building, Strovolos Avenue Customer Services Centre and Kakopetria Cyta Building.

    In Limassol they are available from the Area Head Offices, the Kapsalos Cyta Building, the Linopetra Customer Services Centre, Ypsonas Cyta Building, Jules Verne Street Customer Service Centre and the Platres Cyta Building.

    Larnaca residents can get theirs from the Area Head Office or from the Ayia Anargyri Cyta Building, and in Paphos they can be collected at the Area Head Offices.

    The leaflet also said that an effort would be made to make the catalogues available at the Co-op Banks in most rural areas.

    Cyta wants the old catalogues to be taken along when the new ones are picked up, as it has once again organised for the out-of-date ones to be recycled.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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